Cancer of unknown primary mortality statistics

Deaths

Deaths from cancer of unknown primary, 2014, UK

 

Proportion of all deaths

Percentage cancer of unknown primary is of total cancer deaths, 2014, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of cancer of unknown primary deaths, 2012-2014, UK

 

Trend over time

Cancer of unknown primary mortality rates have decreased by 42% since the 1990s, UK

 

Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) accounts for 6% of all cancer deaths in the UK (2014), accounting for 6% of all male cancer deaths, and 7% of all female cancer deaths.[1-3]

In 2014, there were 10,142 CUP deaths in the UK: 4,862 (48%) in males and 5,280 (52%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of around 9:10.[1-3] The crude mortality rate shows that there are 15 CUP deaths for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 16 for every 100,000 females.

The European age-standardised mortality rates Open a glossary item (AS rates) is significantly higher in Wales compared with the England for females only.[1-3] There are no significant differences between the other constituent countries of the UK for either sex.

Cancer of Unknown Primary (C77-C80), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Deaths 4,088 272 396 106 4,862
Crude Rate 15.3 17.9 15.3 11.7 15.3
AS Rate 19.4 20.3 19.2 17.3 19.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 18.8 17.9 17.3 14.0 18.8
AS Rate - 95% UCL 20.0 22.7 21.1 20.6 19.9
Female Deaths 4,382 334 441 123 5,280
Crude Rate 15.9 21.3 16.0 13.1 16.1
AS Rate 15.6 18.8 15.4 14.6 15.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 15.2 16.8 13.9 12.0 15.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 16.1 20.9 16.8 17.2 16.2
Persons Deaths 8,470 606 837 229 10,142
Crude Rate 15.6 19.6 15.7 12.4 15.7
AS Rate 17.2 19.5 17.0 15.6 17.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 16.8 17.9 15.8 13.6 16.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 17.5 21.0 18.1 17.6 17.6

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS rate Open a glossary item

CUP mortality rates throughout the UK vary significantly variation between health boundaries for both males and females, with the highest rates being in parts of North West England and Wales, and the lowest rates in parts of London and Southern England.[4]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here:  http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
  4. European age-standardised mortality rate of cancer of unknown primary by local health authority in the UK, 2009-2011. UK Cancer Information Service version 4.5b 001. Data extracted on 20/09/2013
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Cancer of unknown primary mortality is strongly related to age, with the highest mortality rates being in older males and females. In the UK in 2012-2014, on average each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) deaths were in people aged 80 and over.[1-3]

Age-specific mortality rates rise gradually from around age 40-44 and more sharply from around age 65-69 with the highest rates in the 90+ age group for both males and females. Mortality rates are significantly higher for males than for females in those aged 60-64 and over and this gap is widest at the age of 90+, when the male:female ratio of age-specific  rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 14:10.[1-3]

Cancer of Unknown Primary (C77-C80), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates, UK, 2012-2014

For most cancer types, mortality by age largely reflects incidence and survival by age, e.g. typically, higher incidence and lower survival in older people results in higher mortality in older people.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015.Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
Last reviewed:

CUP mortality rates have decreased by 42% in the UK since the mid 1990s. This includes a larger overall decrease for males than females. For both sexes there has been a period of stability followed by a decrease during this time.

For males, European age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) mortality rates remained stable between 1993-1995 and 1998-2000 and then decreased by 47% between 1998-2000 and 2012-2014. For females, rates remained stable between 1993-1995 and 2000-2002 and then decreased by 36% between 2000-2002 and 2012-2014.

In the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2012-2014), CUP AS mortality rates have decreased by 31% for males and females combined, with a similar decrease in males (33%) and females (30%).[1-3]

Cancer of Unknown Primary (C77-C80), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK, 1993-2014

For most cancer types, mortality trends largely reflect incidence and survival trends, e.g. increased incidence without sufficient survival improvement results in increased mortality.

CUP mortality rates have decreased overall for all of the broad adult age groups in the UK since the mid-1990s.[1-3] The largest decrease has been in people aged 60-69, with rates decreasing by 54% between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014.

Cancer of Unknown Primary (C77-C80), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, by Age, UK, 1993-2014

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
Last reviewed:

There is evidence for an association between cancer of unkown primary (CUP) mortality and deprivation for both males and females in England.[1] England-wide data for 2007-2011 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item mortality rates are 76% higher for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 61% higher for females.[1]

Cancer of Unknown Primary (C77-C80), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2007-2011

The estimated deprivation gradient in CUP mortality between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 2002-2011.[1] It has been estimated that there would have been around 1,700 fewer cancer deaths each year in England during 2007-2011 if all people experienced the same mortality rates as the least deprived.[1]

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Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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